As exciting a prospect as the open world of Mad Max is, we’re really much more excited for Avalance Studios’ other explosion-rich, open-world action game, Just Cause 3.
So is Mad Max ultimately worth it? Is the wasteland worth exploring, or should we just wait for the game’s greener cousin?
[Updated – 08.09.15] The Metacritic scores.
|Platform||Metacritic Critic Scores||Metacritic User Scores|
*We’ll update the table as the scores do.
The ‘Metacritic Critic Score’ isn’t bad; it’s above average in fact, and ‘User Scores’ paint an even prettier picture for the decidedly ugly world of Mad Max.
Weirdly, however, a number of critic reviews have labelled Mad Max as a middling game. Let’s see what they have to say.
Kotaku – “No” (PS4)
“Once things actually get underway, Mad Max is a sprawling and bloated open-world game with story missions and side missions and to-do lists—destroy some enemy towers, invade some enemy camps, collect some items—that would take scores of hours to complete. It’s not a Ubisoft game, but it feels like one: Watch Dogs in the desert.”
Gamespot – 6/10 (PS4)
“Mad Max also doesn’t do a good job of imposing desperation upon you, a feeling that is necessary if the wasteland’s threats are to be taken seriously. It’s true that water, fuel, and food are hard to come by, so when you find a can of dog food, you eat it. When you come across a family of maggots feasting on a corpse, you take advantage of your rank in the food chain. Water can come from many sources, but never in large supply. Eating and drinking are the only ways to revitalize yourself in the game, but you quickly learn that carrying an empty canteen isn’t that scary.”
“Mad Max fails to mix story and gameplay with finesse, but there are elements of the game that stand out as impressive, nonetheless. Raging, electrical storms set a new bar when it comes to weather effects, as fast winds carry tons of dust and debris. The chaos creates a deafening and blinding atmosphere that’s occasionally illuminated by lighting bolts and the fires they light on the ground.”
Polygon – 5/10 (PS4)
“Mad Max has a handful of memorable locales, such as an airport that’s been buried beneath the sands, but they’re few and far between.
That monotony is compounded by a dearth of unique objectives in these locales. You’re always fighting the same groups of enemies, blowing up the same fuel tanks, tearing down the same sniper’s nests with your car. The side content in Mad Max is textbook open-world bloat…”
Eurogamer – “Recommended” (PS4)
“Max is the perfect cipher for the tangle of objectives that is the contemporary open-world game, an aimless nomad who floats through people’s lives and is now fuelled by something more urgent than seeking revenge for the loss of his wife and child: who’s got the keys to his goddamn car?
“Where Mad Max comes into its own is out on the open road. Avalanche proved with the playgrounds of Just Cause that it excels at dizzying scale, a feeling that’s been buffed by the picturesque expanses of Mad Max’s wastelands, where detail and scope combine to create a real sense of dry-throated atmosphere.”
IGN – 8.4/10 (PS4)
“If not the wasteland, then the excellent layers of systems that drive Mad Max’s gameplay are the real draw. Its progression mechanisms urge you to complete an exhaustive list of challenges to increase your Legend…”
“Mad Max’s combat is the great promise at each of these destinations. Both behind the wheel and on foot, there’s an exciting flourish to the familiar feel that comes with murdering the roaming war parties of the Roadkill, Buzzard, and Scrotus’ War Boy factions.”